FPMT » Advice from Spiritual Friends http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:48:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘What If Your Dear Mother Were Caught in a Blazing Fire?’http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/what-if-your-dear-mother-were-caught-in-a-blazing-fire/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/what-if-your-dear-mother-were-caught-in-a-blazing-fire/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:00:59 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=36332 ... Read full article]]> Lama Yeshe teaching at Olinda, Australia. On July, 26 1976, Lama Yeshe gave a public lecture in Melbourne. That same evening a weekend course for eighty commenced at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges outside the city. Photo courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (lamayeshe.com).

Lama Yeshe teaching at Olinda, Australia. On July, 26 1976, Lama Yeshe gave a public lecture in Melbourne. That same evening a weekend course for eighty commenced at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges outside the city. Photo courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (lamayeshe.com).

What if your dear mother were caught in a blazing fire? You would not relax and say, “Let her burn. I don’t have time to get her out right now. I’ll do it later.” Of course you would stop whatever you were doing, no matter how seemingly important, and immediately rush to rescue her. We must regard all beings as our mother – and they are indeed trapped and burning in the fire of wrong conceptions and negativities. We must not be lazy about this! We must transform every action – eating, sleeping, working – into Dharma wisdom.

But we are lazy, aren’t we? Our impure mind lets us live life as if it were a tea party: “Let my mother burn – I’ll pull her out of the fire when I’ve finished enjoying myself.” Of course, we do not say these words, but our inner feeling, beyond words, reflects this attitude. Be careful; we often behave like this.

All the same, we don’t need to get too emotional about all this. If I pump you up too much, you’ll get overexcited and not want to do anything but run off to the mountains to meditate or run off preaching that everybody should practice Buddhism just like you do. That becomes another problem.

– Lama Yeshe, from When the Chocolate Runs Out, published by Wisdom Publications

Lama Yeshe was the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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‘It Will Make You Laugh’http://fpmt.org/advice/it-will-make-you-laugh/ http://fpmt.org/advice/it-will-make-you-laugh/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:05:50 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=36318 ... Read full article]]> Over one weekend at Barnens O on Vaddo in September of 1983, Lama Yeshe gave a meditation course which later was published in English called "Light of Dharma," translated into Swedish as "Lamas ljus." Photo by Holger Hjorth, from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (lamayeshe.com).

Over one weekend at Barnens O on Vaddo in September of 1983, Lama Yeshe gave a meditation course which later was published in English called “Light of Dharma,” translated into Swedish as “Lamas ljus.” Photo by Holger Hjorth, from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (lamayeshe.com).

If someone’s giving you a hard time and your ego starts to hurt, instead of reacting, just take a look at what’s going on. Think of how sound is simply coming out of the other person’s mouth, entering your ear, and causing pain in your heart. If you think about this in the right way, it will make you laugh; you will see how ridiculous it is to get upset by something so insubstantial.

– Lama Yeshe, from When the Chocolate Runs Out, published by Wisdom Publications

Lama Yeshe was the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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Precious and Wish-fulfilling Holy Objectshttp://fpmt.org/advice/precious-and-wish-fulfilling-holy-objects/ http://fpmt.org/advice/precious-and-wish-fulfilling-holy-objects/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 20:05:22 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37529 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpche with Garrey Foulkes in the recently completed art studio at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpche with Garrey Foulkes in the recently completed art studio at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“… Every time you look at holy objects – pictures of the Buddha, statues, scriptures, stupas – they plant the seed of liberation and enlightenment in your mental continuum. So every time you look at them they purify your mind. They plant the seed of enlightenment, which includes all the causes to achieve enlightenment,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche instructs in “Why Holy Objects Are Precious and Wish-fulfilling.”

“How? When you look at them they plant a seed or positive imprint on your mental continuum so that later when you meet Buddhadharma, either in this life or in future lives, you are able to understand the words and the meaning of the teachings. From that, you are able to practice the meaning of the Dharma you have understood, which causes you to cease the gross and subtle defilements by actualizing the path and then your mental continuum becomes omniscient mind. This is what is meant when we say that by seeing holy objects it plants the seed of enlightenment on the mind – it contains the whole path from guru devotion and the three principals up to the two stages of tantra and enlightenment. Seeing holy objects makes us actualize all of this as a result. This is the effect we get from seeing them and this is how they cause us to achieve enlightenment. …”

You can read the complete advice “Why Holy Objects Are Precious and Wish-fulfilling” as a PDF found with other advice from Rinpoche on holy objects on FPMT.org.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates. 

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Transforming the Mind in Everyday Lifehttp://fpmt.org/advice/transforming-the-mind-in-everyday-life/ http://fpmt.org/advice/transforming-the-mind-in-everyday-life/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 20:05:32 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37526 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with large Chenrezig thangka at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with large Chenrezig thangka at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“… Having a positive attitude, such as the altruistic thought to help other sentient beings and not harm them, is the cause of success in life. Even though some people might not have much education, they have no difficulties in life; they are wealthy and have harmonious relationships, and whatever they wish for happens. The reason for this is the cause created in the past. This is the actual evolution; this is where their happiness comes from. But when we do not analyze, when we are not aware, it looks as if success came from outside and does not depend on their mind,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said in a teaching from 1991 recently published on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

“It’s the opposite for people who are experiencing difficulties in their life. Their actions are motivated by ill will, jealousy, selfishness, dissatisfaction, desire, ignorance, anger and so forth, and their problems and difficulties result from that. Even though this is the actual evolution, when we do not understand or are not aware of karma, of action and result, it appears as if success and difficulties come from outside. We may have heard of karma and sometimes talk about it or meditate on it, but we are not aware of it in our everyday life.

“Happiness and success in life depends on transforming the mind, on making the mind better. Through that our actions become better; it depends on developing a positive attitude. Our mental continuum has all the potential to be completely transformed into the right path; we can completely purify all the negative imprints left on our mental continuum by our negative actions, which produce the problems in our life. Transforming our mind makes it impossible to experience the action and the resultant problems. Our mental continuum has all this potential.

“Therefore, meditation is extremely important in our life. It is the most important method for obtaining happiness in our everyday life. If we think more broadly, meditation brings not only temporary happiness but especially ultimate happiness, the peerless happiness of full enlightenment – when this mental continuum is completely pure, free of every single mistake, even the subtle imprints, the obscurations, and has completed all the qualities, all the realizations. Then we are able to bring everyone else to the peerless happiness of full enlightenment by freeing them from all their problems and obscurations, from their disturbing thoughts and even the imprints left on the mind. We have a fully knowing mind, having completed training the mind in compassion and having the perfect power to guide everyone according to the level of their mind. …”

You can read the complete teaching “Transforming the Mind in Everyday Life” on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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Dealing with Stresshttp://fpmt.org/advice/dealing-with-stress/ http://fpmt.org/advice/dealing-with-stress/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 20:05:10 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37523 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

“… Many different conditions can cause stress: the fear of your partner dying or of losing them to someone else, failure in business, loss of a job, illness, or not getting some person or object that you want. With desires focused solely on the happiness of this life, you worry that you will not obtain the pleasures you selfishly seek. This dissatisfied, desirous mind is one of the main causes of stress,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said in a teaching in 1990 in Sydney, Australia, that has been recently published on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

“The general method to deal with stress is to look at life in a positive rather than negative way. Looking positively at your problems is itself a meditation that transforms the mind into happiness. Reflecting on the benefits of your problems releases your squeezed, uptight mind and brings relaxation in your heart.

“Another approach is to meditate on experiencing the problem you are going through on behalf of others. Think, ‘I am experiencing this problem on behalf of all other beings. Instead of allowing countless other human beings to experience it, I alone will take all these problems upon myself, so that all others can be free of them.’ This attitude stops the problem because it purifies the cause of the problem, which is within your mind. Purifying the cause solves the problem. Experiencing your problems in this way keeps your mind happy and benefits others. And when your problem benefits others, it benefits you. …”

You can read the complete teaching, “How to Be Happy,” on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Parts of this teaching have also been published in Wisdom Publication’s book How to Be Happy by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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The Benefits of Offering to Buddhahttp://fpmt.org/advice/the-benefits-of-offering-to-buddha/ http://fpmt.org/advice/the-benefits-of-offering-to-buddha/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:02:18 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37480 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the park, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the park, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

“Offering one tiny flower to a statue or picture of Buddha receives immeasurable, limitless, merit. All the paths to happiness result from that. With just one grain of rice or one tiny flower, you can enter the path and achieve total enlightenment – the completion of all good qualities,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised.

“After achieving enlightenment, you can liberate so many sentient beings from so much suffering and samsara and bring them to enlightenment. This is the result of offering one tiny flower. Each offering has all this benefit – like putting money in the bank. One dollar equals one billion trillion dollars in interest. This is an amazing benefit. It is important to remember this every day and offer as much as possible. If you see a beautiful flower, you visualize offering it to the guru and Buddha. The result and benefit is incredible. You can offer every single flower in a garden – the merit received is mind-blowing.

“This is how you use your precious human life, which is extremely rare and hard to find. Every time you see an object, use it to become closer to liberation and enlightenment. Many times each day, use your precious human rebirth to bring you closer and closer to liberation and enlightenment and thus to enlighten all sentient beings.”

Read more of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s on “Offering Practices” in “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book,” which is part of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates. 

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Offering Animals a Good Rebirthhttp://fpmt.org/advice/offering-animals-a-good-rebirth/ http://fpmt.org/advice/offering-animals-a-good-rebirth/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:53:07 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37470 ... Read full article]]> Rinpoche blessing dogs at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing dogs at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given much advice on benefiting animals. Here is a suggestion for helping your pets and other animal friends:

“It’s also extremely good to bless food before you give it to animals. If you can’t do it for every meal, then you can bless all the food at the same time. Recite the five powerful mantras or OM MANI PADME HUM, Medicine Buddha, and Milarepa mantras. All of these have power and help anyone who eats this food to not be reborn in the lower realms; it blesses their mind and purifies negative karma. If you can, do it every time you feed them – recite the mantras and blow on the food. This is the biggest gift you can offer them: it causes a good rebirth, so they can escape samsara, achieve liberation, and acquire the positive imprints of the Mahayana teachings and mantras that lead to enlightenment.

“I asked the people who take care of our dogs at Tushita Centre in Dharamsala to recite the Maitreya Buddha prayer and mantra, the Lama Tsongkhapa praise to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha – ‘Having Found the Realization of Dependent Arising’ – and other prayers and mantras to the dogs, while holding a biscuit in their hand, so all the dogs wait patiently. It looks like they are respectfully listening to the teachings, with their eyes looking at the biscuit, all sitting humbly.”

Read more of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s instructions “How to Benefit Animals” on “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book,” which is part of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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Putting Effort into Dharma Practicehttp://fpmt.org/advice/putting-effort-into-dharma-practice/ http://fpmt.org/advice/putting-effort-into-dharma-practice/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:59:03 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37228 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche practices tossing a small ball into a bucket during a picnic in Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche practices tossing a small ball into a bucket during a picnic in Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“People put a lot of effort into climbing Mount Everest, but it means nothing. They spend millions of dollars climbing Mount Everest just to get a reputation, just to get some dry name,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught to the students of the 33rd Kopan Course in 2000. “They put so many hundreds of thousands of dollars into a project which is totally meaningless. People spend so much money and effort and for their whole life they put effort into things which are totally meaningless and they only create negative karma, because their motivation is just attachment. It means nothing, and they totally waste all their money and their life, because they put so much effort for so many years into nothing.

“There are so many people in the world who have received a precious human body but are totally wasting it by doing meaningless actions. So, it is very important, while we are here, to follow the path to enlightenment. Even if we die while doing prostrations to the Buddha, we are still practicing Dharma, so if we die it is worthwhile. …”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche practices tossing a small ball into a bucket during a picnic in Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche practices tossing a small ball into a bucket during a picnic in Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Excerpted from the teaching “Putting Effort into Dharma Practice” found at the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. 

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche picnics with Sangha after the recent retreat, Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche picnics with Sangha after the recent retreat, Bendigo, Australia, October 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

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The Limitless Benefits of Compassionhttp://fpmt.org/advice/the-limitless-benefits-of-compassion/ http://fpmt.org/advice/the-limitless-benefits-of-compassion/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:42:15 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37091 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Geshe Doga and Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, Thubten Shedrup Ling, Bendigo, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Geshe Doga and Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, Thubten Shedrup Ling, Bendigo, Australia, September 2014. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

From Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s “Compassion Is of the Upmost Need”:

From the Sutra Request by Lodro Gyatso: “The thought of complete enlightenment, preserving Dharma, practicing Dharma and having love and compassion for living beings: these four dharmas have infinite qualities – the limit of their benefits is not seen by the Victorious Ones. It is said that preserving Dharma and protecting the lives of living beings has limitless benefits.”

This shows that if we have COMPASSION for sentient beings, from those we can’t see with the naked eye but only under a microscope up to creatures the size of a mountain, then the Buddha has never explained the limits of the benefits of the compassion we generate for them. It’s the same as saving the lives of human beings, animals and insects; we must understand that it has limitless benefits.

A free PDF download of “Compassion Is of the Upmost Need,” Rinpoche’s 10 quotes on compassion, is available from the Foundation Store in letter and A4 formats.

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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The Mind Is Like Doughhttp://fpmt.org/advice/the-mind-is-like-dough/ http://fpmt.org/advice/the-mind-is-like-dough/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:21:19 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=36932 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the new gompa at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Bendigo, Australia, November 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the new gompa at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Bendigo, Australia, November 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered this advice on the nature of the mind:

“The mind is like dough, which means you can make it into any shape: emotional, non-emotional, happy, not happy.

“Mind is like a child, so you should become the parents, like the father and mother watching and guiding the child. If you follow the child, if you become the child, it makes you crazy. Then, you always create obstacles and life becomes suffering.

“Or you become the guru and the mind is like the disciple – you watch and guide it. Or you are like a spy. You should be like a spy with your mind, always watching and blocking it when it is being negative and doing harm. It is like spying on a political person, examining what the person is thinking and planning, whether the person is performing positive actions or negative actions.

“Also, it is like you are the captain and the mind is the boat. Or you are the driver and the mind is the car, so therefore you have to always watch the car, and pay attention that you are traveling on the right road.

“If you don’t behave like this, then you are controlled by the mind.”

– Lama Zopa Rinpoche, from the page on “Meditation Practice” in “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book,” part of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. 

Learn more about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche and his beneficial activities by visiting Rinpoche’s webpage, where you will find links to Rinpoche’s schedule, new advice, recent video, photos and more.

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